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Old 03-23-2017, 12:52 AM   #1
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Damage to cheap cabinet facing


The good news is, my kids are old enough that they can start washing the dishes. The bad news is that they are pretty messy at cleaning.
I'm constantly finding the front of the cabinets by the sink wet with splashes. I didn't think anything of it at first, but then I saw a bit of the cabinet starting to swell from what I guess is water.

A couple of days later, a small piece cracked off the bottom of the cabinet door. I tried crazy-gluing it back, but it just broke off in the exact same place again. The kitchen does need a makeover pretty badly, but I just renovated a home office and can't afford to throw money at the kitchen right now. Is there any cost effective way to do something about this? Is it possible to get a new cabinet door that matches the rest for now?

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Old 03-23-2017, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


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Is there any cost effective way to do something about this? Is it possible to get a new cabinet door that matches the rest for now?

Welllllllllllllll, you can apply some patching material such as wood filler, sand it and paint it.

Or you can look around maybe at a Habitat ReStore for a matching door.

Or you can make your own replacement door and paint it.

But any way you go, it's not going to look great.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:40 PM   #3
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


That looks like simple panels of palin veneered particle board. You could buy a full or part sheet at most lumber yards or box stores and cut it to size. You will have to edge band it - you can buy that stuff at those stores as well. It is pre-glued and applies with a clothes iron then trim to size.

It will get you through until you can do a full reno.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:43 PM   #4
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


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That looks like simple panels of palin veneered particle board. You could buy a full or part sheet at most lumber yards or box stores and cut it to size. You will have to edge band it - you can buy that stuff at those stores as well. It is pre-glued and applies with a clothes iron then trim to size.

It will get you through until you can do a full reno.
See, I had a feeling it was something like that but don't know enough about any of this. Previous owner of the house was super-cheap about everything, figured the kitchen cabinets were some sort of generic thing that could be easily replaced.

I'm super-duper newbie with this stuff, so is there somewhere you can point me to learn more about the process?


EDIT: I just re-read it and I think it makes sense to me now. Sorry I was half asleep and still learning. You're saying I can buy a new white veneered particle board, cut it to size, then make the cut edges look nice by applying edge trim veneer.
I'd then need to also cut the holes used for hinges into the door to use the hardware and attach it. And all this is assuming the white will match and all that... I don't trust myself to not mess all that up somewhere. I was hoping there was an easier way, like getting a new veneer face for the front and fixing the door rather than re-creating it. But I guess that was unrealistic.

Last edited by dishe; 03-23-2017 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:21 AM   #5
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


Or possibly there is a local Cabinet outfit that can make a door and also cut the holes for a reasonable price.
Walk in with a $20 bill in your hand. Some of them would use their scrap to do this and look for a small contribution to an extra curricular adult beverage fund.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


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See, I had a feeling it was something like that but don't know enough about any of this. Previous owner of the house was super-cheap about everything, figured the kitchen cabinets were some sort of generic thing that could be easily replaced.
Super cheap indeed - those cabinets are sold at Home Depot and are the cheapest made, cheapest to buy cabinet on the free market.
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I'm super-duper newbie with this stuff, so is there somewhere you can point me to learn more about the process?


EDIT: I just re-read it and I think it makes sense to me now. Sorry I was half asleep and still learning. You're saying I can buy a new white veneered particle board, cut it to size, then make the cut edges look nice by applying edge trim veneer.
I'd then need to also cut the holes used for hinges into the door to use the hardware and attach it. And all this is assuming the white will match and all that... I don't trust myself to not mess all that up somewhere. I was hoping there was an easier way, like getting a new veneer face for the front and fixing the door rather than re-creating it. But I guess that was unrealistic.
Your simplest solution is to buy another entire cabinet with the same size door and replace it.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


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Your simplest solution is to buy another entire cabinet with the same size door and replace it.
That might work if the OP has the KSAs (old government term: knowledge, skills and abilities) to rip out a cabinet and if they can find a replacement of the same dimensions. Exactly matching white might be expecting too much.

Regarding hinges, the complexity will depend on the type of hinge. Some type of simple pin-type cabinet hinge will be relatively easily; the more complex 'Euro hinge' have a large hole set into the door and require more skill and tools (along with a minimum door thickness but that might not be an issue anymore). There is a special screw that works better in particle board, readily available.

Whichever way you decide to go, you shouldn't leave it too long. Once that synthetic veneer is gone, the underlying particle board is very vulnerable and won't take a long of abuse or moisture (besides being kinda ugly).
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:37 PM   #8
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


Instead of trying to match, you could just get a pair of doors in a different color but that still harmonizes with your kitchen.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:17 PM   #9
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


Take one of the cabinet doors (or maybe the broken piece) to Home Depot and have the color matched in the paint department. Every time I've gone there with a sample they've been able to match it perfectly.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


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Take one of the cabinet doors (or maybe the broken piece) to Home Depot and have the color matched in the paint department. Every time I've gone there with a sample they've been able to match it perfectly.
You're suggesting just painting over the damaged area. That could work but it really is a band-aid solution. The OP could paint the whole door but I've never found that painting that 'plastic' veneer to be very durable. I've also never had much luck matching white - there are just too many.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:42 PM   #11
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


No, I didn't mean to paint over the damaged area. I was suggesting a way to match the color once it was repaired.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:28 PM   #12
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


Thanks guys-
yes, the hinge hardware sounds more like the "euro hinge" that was described above. I actually have some small white molding pieces left over from a renovation downstairs. I'm wondering if maybe I should cut them to size and just make a little "lip" over the bottom of the doors, covering the damaged area for now. But I think for the amount of work put into that, I might as well go back to trying to replace it with a new one.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:24 PM   #13
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Re: Damage to cheap cabinet facing


They look like simple melamine doors. Go buy a section from HD/Lowes, bring it and the old one to a cabinet shop. Get them to punch the hinge holes and you're done.
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